Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-20-97

Published in International Mathematical Forum, 2020, Vol. 15, No. 7, pp. 339-342.


In his seminal book "The Star of Redemption", the renowned philosopher Franz Rosenzweig illustrated his ideas by the intuitive difference between mathematical statements A=B and B=A. Of course, from the purely mathematical viewpoint, these two statements are always equivalent, so to a person trained in mathematics -- even in simple school mathematics -- this illustration is puzzling. What we show is that from the viewpoint of common folks, there is indeed a subtle difference between how people understand these two equalities. To us, the understanding of this difference helped us better understand Rosenzweig's ideas. But we believe that this difference has application way beyond those interested in Rosenzweig's philosophy: namely, it makes sense to take this subtle difference into account when teaching mathematics in school.